Shamir Barker, the accused in the hit and run accident that caused the death of Latoya Thompson last year, was yesterday found not guilty of the crime after police failed to prove that he was the driver of the vehicle that hit her.
It was alleged that Barker, 25, drove motor vehicle PPP 1354 in a manner dangerous to the public, thereby causing the death of Thompson on August 12, 2015, on the Eccles Public Road.
Thompson was a passenger on a motorcycle being driven by her boyfriend, Orwin Whittington, when they were hit by the car, which ran a traffic light. Thompson died on spot.
Magistrate Fabayo Azore was forced to find Barker not guilty of the charge after stating that the prosecution had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it was he who drove the vehicle on the day of the accident.
The magistrate further stated that the court did not believe the evidence led by Barker and found it to be illogical, while adding that he never reported the matter and went to the interior where it would be difficult to locate him.
The court heard that the evidence led by the prosecution witnesses highlighted the licence plate number of the vehicle that Barker was in but none of the witnesses clearly pointed out seeing him in the vehicle.
Additionally, evidence presented showed that the car was registered to Barker’s mother and she, when called by the prosecution, proved to be a hostile witness.
Magistrate Azore stated that she was of the belief, based on evidence led, that the vehicle was driven through a stop light, resulting in the collision and subsequent death of Thompson. However, the question of who was the driver at the time of the accident still lingered at the end of the case. It was on these bases that Barker was found not guilty.
As a result, Barker was also cleared of two counts of failing to stop and rendering assistance to the injured parties as well as another charge of failing to report the accident to the police.
The verdict resulted in mixed emotions in the courtroom as the family of the defendant was visibly elated, while those present for the deceased were disappointed.
Barker was represented by attorney Glenn Hanoman.